Tomato Sauce

Home-made tomato sauce is wonderful. The rich, bright, fresh flavors just can't be found in a jar. With this recipe, you can have fresh tomato sauce in about 45 minutes.

Don't leave out the wine. Tomatoes have alcohol-soluble flavors that only come out with alcohol. Don't worry, it's perfectly safe (unless you've got an allergy).

Tomato sauce on spaghetti with bread

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and sweat the onion, carrot, and celery until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, herbs, sugar, capers, wine, and water (everything but the salt and pepper). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes are up, or a bit more, remove from heat and let cool for a little bit before blending smooth with an immersion blender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Extras

Images

Ingredients for tomato sauce

Not a lot of esoteric ingredients here, which is good. Only unique thing are the capers. I've never used them before, and so far have only used them in tomato sauce.

Carrot on a cutting board

We've got a bit of cutting to do here, but first, we've got to peel it.

Carrot being peeled in a sink

Gently peel the carrot. The skin is thin, and you don't want to remove too much of the good stuff.

Peeled carrot on a cutting board

Once it's peeled, we need to dice it.

Carrot chopped into 2-inch pieces

Start by chopping into 2-inch pieces.

Carrot sliced into batonnet

Then slice those pieces into 1/2-inch-wide sticks.

Carrot diced

Finally, cut the sticks into 1/2-inch cubes.

Celery on a cutting board

Next, the celery gets the same treatment.

Celery washed and trimmed

First, we need to wash and trim off the top and bottom.

Celery chopped into 2-inch pieces

Then, like the carrot, chop into 2-inch pieces...

Celery sliced into batonnet

... then slice into 1/2-inch-wide sticks...

Celery diced

... and finally into 1/2-inch cubes.

Onion on a cutting board

The onion gets a similar treatment, but we can do it a bit easier.

Onion with top removed

First, remove the top so it will sit on the cutting board.

Onion peeled and halved

Next, cut down through the root, so that the root holds each half together. Then, peel off the skin.

Onion sliced across

Slice down the onion, about 1/2-inch apart, but don't cut through the root.

Onion diced

Finally, slice across the onion into 1/2-inch pieces.

Mirepoix in a bowl

This combination of equal parts onion, celery, and carrot is called mirepoix.

If you, like me, bought more than one onion, one carrot, and one stalk of celery, you can chop up the rest of it and freeze it, together or separately, for easy sauce-making later.

Garlic cloves on a cutting board

To mince fresh garlic, first we have to peel it. But it's a lot easier to peel garlic when it's been smashed first.

Garlic cloves smashed on a cutting board

Smash the garlic with the flat of your chef's knife. Place the knife on the garlic clove and press down until crushed.

Smashed garlic cloved peeled

The skin should then come off easily.

Garlic minced

Once peeled, mince the garlic by cutting into tiny strips, and then cutting the tiny strips into cubes, and then rocking your knife back and forth until minced fine.

Oil in a sauce pan

Now we've got all the prep done, we can start making the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan.

Sweating the mirepoix

Then sweat the mirepoix. Sweating is done at lower heat to get the flavors out.

Mirepoix done

Once the mirepoix is tender, it's done and we can add the tomatoes.

Adding the tomatoes and tomato paste

Add the diced tomatoes, with liquid, and the tomato paste. Stir well.

Adding all the other ingredients

Then add everything else. It really is just that simple!

Mixing it all together

Mix it all together, cover, and bring to a boil.

Simmering covered

Once boiling, simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Stick blender in the pot

Once the time is done, get your immersion blender and blend until smooth.

Tomato sauce blended with stick blender

The sauce will brighten with the orange from the carrot.

Tomato sauce done

And you're done! Fresh pasta sauce that beats any can or jar!

Serve With